American Players Theatre
5950 Golf Course Road
P.O. Box 819
Spring Green, WI 53588
Box Office: 608-588-2361
August 5 – October 7
Lorraine Hansberry’s poetic rendering of a family, with all the petals and thorns intact. Three generations of love and tension simmer in a South Side walk-up, sheltering five souls whose long-postponed dreams may just have waited long enough. Their story an encapsulation of what it means to be oppressed, before birth and beyond death; constantly pushing against the world, and each other. And through it all, knowing there’s always something to hope for. Always something to love. An exquisite work of art, as compelling today as when it first emerged on stage.
Featuring Gina Daniels, Alys Dickerson, Tim Gittings, Charence Higgins, Rasell Holt, Chiké Johnson, Gavin Lawrence, Derrick Moore & Deanna Reed-Foster
THIS PRODUCTION IS FUNDED, IN PART, BY A GENEROUS GIFT FROM U.S. BANK.
On the South Side of Chicago in the 1950s, the Youngers have lost their patriarch. But with this tragedy comes a rare financial gain for the family - a $10,000 insurance payment that could change their lives and fulfill dreams long postponed. As the family dynamics spin, it soon becomes clear that everyone has different ideas about how the money should be used, causing divisions, dishonesty and mistrust. A stunning classic that examines the ways racism suppresses the lives and aspirations of Black families.
APT's 'Raisin in the Sun' is a Portrait of Resilience
Lindsay Christians, The Cap Times, August 15, 2022
Sadly relevant: ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ remains a classic and APT’s production is haunting
Gwendolyn Rice, Isthmus, September 1, 2022
Dream of a Better World: A Review of A Raisin in the Sun at American Players Theatre
Ted C. Fishman, New City Stage, September 6, 2022
BY LANGSTON HUGHES
Lorraine Hansberry titled A Raisin in the Sun from a line in the poem "Harlem" by Langston Hughes, included below.
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
Langston Hughes, "Harlem," originally published in the poem suite Montage of a Dream Deferred, copyright 1951.
A Raisin in the Sun is, at its core, a play about the depths of the familial bond and the human drive for progress. Each of the Youngers is trying to grow in a place too small to contain their power or their passions. This sense of containment creates inevitable tension as they each try to move their family forward the best way they know how. They just don't agree on the plan for progression.
Though most productions place Walter Lee Younger, Jr. at the center of this story because of the depth of his passion, I see two mothers, Ruth and Lena, quietly holding their family together and carrying the weight of the world as they do it. They understand that the roots of a family are what bind, but life cannot thrive if the soil is not tended. Their plan to move the family forward involves creating a fertile and open space where each family member can cultivate their dreams.
This play has had many productions and will continue to be one of the most important and well-crafted plays in the American Theater Canon. My hope is that this production illuminates not just the pain this family must endure but the love they have for one another that ultimately ensures their mutual growth.
–Tasia A. Jones